Original Research

A consideration of the impeccability of Christ

Lazarus E. Kanniah, Carel F.C. Coetzee
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 1 | a2048 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i1.2048 | © 2016 Lazarus E. Kanniah, Carel F.C. Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 October 2015 | Published: 02 December 2016

About the author(s)

Lazarus E. Kanniah, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Carel F.C. Coetzee, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

The following study seeks to investigate the impeccability of Christ from a historical-theological point of view. Two camps emerge on either side of the debate. The one camp is those who hold to the posse non peccare view, which is to say the ability not to sin, otherwise known as the peccability view. The other camp holds to the non posse peccare view which is to say inability to sin, otherwise known as the impeccability view. While both camps affirm the sinless perfection of Christ they oppose each other about whether he could have sinned if he had wanted to. It boils down to a case of ‘could have but did not’ or ‘did not because He could not have’. It is the view of this article that the non posse peccare view squares with historical theology. By surveying church councils up to the present time, we aim in the introduction to prove that the history of this issue matters in that it establishes the relationship between Christology and history in relation to the origin of sin. In the first section of the main body we survey and evaluate the position from a peccability viewpoint while, at the same time, proposing and validating our points of departure. In the second section we assess and acknowledge the argument for impeccability by proving the necessity of it for the exoneration of Christ’s Person.

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